Bankers have to be true to values to grow, says former SBI chief

P. Jayaram Bhat, chairman, Karnataka Bank, presenting a memento to Arundhati Bhattacharya, former chairperson, State Bank of India, in Mangaluru on Tuesday.  

In this digital age, it is necessary for bankers to retain the trust of customers and ensure that all actions taken are in the best interest of the latter, said former chairman of State Bank of India Arundhati Bhattacharya here on Tuesday.

Speaking on ‘A peep into the future of banking’ during the Founder’s Day celebrations of Karnataka Bank, Ms. Bhattacharya said banking is all about acquiring the trust of customers. “Do not use data that is detrimental to customers. Use this only with their express consent. Customers should feel that the decisions taken by the bank were in their best interest.” This, she said, was the way to tackle ethical issues arising through adoption of digital technology in banking.

Adoption of digital technology, she said, was not just about providing ATM cards and Internet banking. “It’s all together a different world. It is a change in the whole banking process,” she said referring to initiatives such as opening bank accounts using fingerprint scanners and Aadhaar card, taken during her tenure in the SBI. “Yes there will be hiccups. But we have take up this digital journey,” she added.

Among the concerns of adopting digital technology will be condition of the 90% of workforce when artificial intelligence systems take over their functions. “You have to bear in mind that people still prefer advice on health and wealth issues,” she said, while advising banking personnel to migrate from being accountants to wealth advisers.

Asking bankers to ensure that the data of their customers is kept safe, she expressed the need for bankers to be more vigilant. “You need to be one step ahead of the person trying to access your domain,” she said, and added that the fight against cyber criminals was an ongoing one and bankers needed to keep working to keep criminals at bay.

In the welcome address, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Karnataka Bank Mahabaleshwara M.S. said the bank was adopting digital technology in a big way and was emerging as a bank of future. It will shortly start the process of digital loan sanction, which will be a game-changer.

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Printable version | Jun 12, 2021 8:00:30 PM |

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